Addiction and Sober Living in Los Angeles

Many people in Los Angeles, California live with an addiction. Some are in recovery, and some haven’t found their way, yet. Opioids, meth, and cocaine have always been prevalent in our state, but in the past ten years, drug addiction has surged. The lifestyle of addiction has been glamorized in Hollywood and Los Angeles. Drugs and alcohol are in the background of many movies featuring California. However, the truth about substance use in Los Angeles County is simple: addiction is killing people. People who live with an addiction experience trauma and pain. Nobody enjoys being an addict. Los Angeles County Drug Use and Overdoses Drugs have always been a part of Los Angeles County, and many people think of drug use as part of the lifestyle of California. The stereotype of beautiful beaches, beach-bum lifestyles, and people finding stardom is something that’s always portrayed when it comes to drug use. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Los Angeles County alone, meth poisoning/overdose as…

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Oxycontin Makers Sink Claws Into China

A report has come out detailing the marketing moves that Purdue Pharma, the drugmaker responsible for Oxycontin and other variations of opioid, has moved on to China. Of course, it’s no big secret that companies like food and pharmaceutical makers take their wares overseas to new markets. What’s unusual about Purdue’s business moves is that the behavior that cost billions of dollars in US lawsuits is now being deployed in China. Boosting Sales and Breaking Laws in China Stat News claims that when sales began to crash due to the opioid crisis, the Sacklers and their subsidiaries set their eyes on the global market. In China, Purdue’s international pharma dealer, Mundipharma, pushed for profits over ethics without fail. While the profit scheme unraveled very publicly in the US courts, quietly, Purdue Pharma began marketing elsewhere. Current and former employees told the Associated Press about the stunts they pulled to sell more Oxycontin and other drugs. The reps described how managers tried to boost profits by prying into the patient’s…

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Did Abuse-Deterrent Oxy Work? Purdue Won’t Say

In 2010, a reformulated version of Oxycontin was released. The pharma giant, Perdue Pharma, said the new formula would help deter abuse. The new version of the pill couldn't be crushed, snorted or smoked. This change was expected to make it more difficult for drug abusers to misuse it. It’s been nine years since the different drug formula went into effect, and neither the government nor Purdue Pharma will release information to the public on results. “We asked for that data probably 40 or 50 times in last four or five years and were denied every time,” Dr. Raeford Brown, whose term as an FDA adviser ended last March, recently told the Washington Post. The committee she served on is still waiting to get the numbers from either the FDA or Purdue. New Oxy Formula May Have Caused Other Public Health Crises A study earlier this year by the RAND Corporation think tank showed that heroin use, overdoses, and overdose deaths skyrocketed when Oxycontin usage started to dip. When…

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Italy Starts its Own Oxycontin Probe

In Italy, a peculiar rise in opioid prescriptions brought suspicion against Perdue Pharmaceuticals and a doctor named Guido Fanelli. Authorities began to suspect a conspiracy among a group of pharmaceutical executives police nicknamed “The Pain League.” Used to fighting corruption and the inner workings of criminal cases such as mob bosses, authorities sought to find culpability within Mundipharma — the international arm of Purdue Pharma. They began an investigation using wiretaps and subpoenas to follow the money. Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, faces over 2,000 lawsuits in the United States over its role in the opioid crisis. This case is the first known case outside the U.S., where executives and employees of Perdue are criminally charged and implicated. While the opioid epidemic has cost fewer lives in Italy, the criminal intent, prosecutors say, is clear. Making Money Promoting Opioids According to the investigative file, 464,000 euros from Mundipharma, and 640,855 euros from Grunenthal (about $700,000) flowed into businesses Fanelli allegedly set up to hide the payments, beginning in…

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Protesters Deliver Outgoing FDA Commissioner an 800lb “Heroin Spoon”

Protestors descended on the FDA today to mark the end of Scott Gottlieb's tenure with the delivery of a large “heroin spoon” sculpture stamped with the FDA’s logo. Activists say they are angry that the outgoing commissioner rubber-stamped Dsuvia, an incredibly powerful opioid that is meant for surgeries and late-term terminal cancer. The group of activists urged the FDA to stop approving “dangerous” opioids and to focus on more ideas for medication-assisted treatment and other drugs to help treat addiction. Dsuvia is a sublingual formulation of sufentanil, which is 500 times as powerful as morphine. The drugmaker says that the drug was created for the management of acute pain in adults in medically supervised healthcare settings. Activists and addiction specialist believe that the drug will eventually make it onto the street, causing overdose deaths, just like fentanyl. Fentanyl was developed mostly for surgical settings but after a few years began to be prescribed off-label for chronic pain, causing addiction or dependence in its patients. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, says that the…

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In Delaware, 3000 People Run 5K to Raise Awareness of Addiction

More than 3,000 people rallied, ran and walked in Old New Castle, Delaware last Saturday morning to raise awareness for what organizers say is the public health crisis of this generation. Family members, friends, and people in recovery ran the annual atTAcK Addiction "Erase the Stigma 5K" is an event that attracts people personally affected by addiction. The annual race was started by parents who lost (or almost lost) their children to opioid overdose. They bonded and created a nonprofit to combat opioid abuse and addiction in Delaware. Their grassroots nonprofit helps to educate people about addiction in the community. They have a special high school just for students in recovery from addiction and they also provide addiction-related services such as support groups. AtTAcK Addiction provides services directly to people who are looking for safe sober housing. Their 5K has come to serve as a rallying moment for families new to recovery. They also provide comfort for people who have lost loved ones to overdose and want to make sure…

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How/Why Are Children Overdosing on Opioids?

Children are overdosing on opioids, but it's not something that's being mentioned often. The media often mentions the opioid epidemic regarding addiction that lands people on the streets. The current addiction epidemic is taking place in communities that house lower to middle-class residents. Few news reports tell us about the people who love the addicted that live under the roof each home. Often there are spouses, babies, children, and pets in families affected by opioid addiction. In 3 and four bedroom homes in counties across America, children are becoming victims of the opioid epidemic in depressing ways. Almost 900 children have died from opiate overdoses since 1999, according to a new study conducted by Julie Gaither, an instructor at the Yale School of Medicine. Causes of Overdoses Using numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and other data sources, they were able to discover the types of deaths children suffer through opioids. Many children accidentally took the drugs, while others were poisoned or took them recreationally. Some of the…

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Fentanyl is Officially America’s Deadliest Drug

According to a new CDC report, deadly fentanyl overdoses are now costing more lives than any other illicit drug. Fentanyl is an opioid similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent. Doctors use the drug in major surgeries and cancer treatment, but now that it’s become a street drug, drug dealers add it to other drugs like heroin or cocaine. Fentanyl was the deadliest drug in 2016 according to the CDC, but heroin and oxycodone were the most dangerous in previous years. About 29% of drug overdose deaths involved fentanyl. However, as the drug shows up with other substances, fentanyl has often become a culprit without the user themselves knowing they ingested it. Overdoses of heroin and cocaine have also gone up, which may also be thanks to fentanyl. Drug use trends aren’t getting better, either. Heroin overdoses tripled in 2016, and deadly overdoses of methamphetamines doubled. Data on Overdoses Gathering data on drug overdoses isn’t an exact science. Experts believe that even the CDC data is…

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Florida Sues CVS and Walgreens Over Opioids

The state of Florida has announced it is suing Walgreens and CVS, blaming them for the local and national opioid crisis. They say the two retailers, who also happen to be the most significant two pharmacy chains in the US, helped create the crisis by “overselling painkillers” and not taking actions that would help stop the increasing illegal sales once the opioids left the pharmacy. In essence, they are being accused by the government of turning a blind eye to the opioid crisis. The lawsuit isn’t a new lawsuit, but rather an amended lawsuit filed by Attorney General Pam Bondi. The lawsuit also points fingers to Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and several opioid distributors. All of these entities, she says, profited as they willfully turned blind eyes to the addiction epidemic. In Bondi’s press release, she alleges that CVS and Walgreens "played a role in creating the opioid crisis." By failing to halt "suspicious orders of opioids," the two stores then "dispensed unreasonable quantities of opioids from…

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New Class Action Suit Lawsuit Launched on Behalf of Opioid Babies

In Philadelphia, a law firm is taking action to file a class-action lawsuit against some opioid manufacturers on behalf of babies born addicted to opioids or otherwise affected medically by their exposure to drugs in the womb. John Weston, an attorney from Sacks Weston Diamond, brought the suit Friday on behalf of an anonymous baby boy and his mother. Similar to other lawsuits filed by states, counties, and municipalities, he believes that this case is the first of its kind, at least in the state of Pennsylvania. Other states have chosen to file lawsuits sometimes, usually on behalf of babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Many of these babies suffer severe withdrawal effects from the lack of opioids in their system, as well as birth defects, racing heartbeats, and other medical symptoms. Most lawsuits are merely seeking monetary help from the pharmaceutical manufacturers for the treatment and study of the long-term effects. Weston admits the lawsuits are similar to others filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors in recent…

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